Music Reviews
Music In My Mouth

Bell x1 Music In My Mouth

(Universal / Island) Buy it from Insound Rating - 5/10

It seems obvious to me - soft rock is back in a new disguise. Bland, harmless melodies, nothing lyrics, huge popularity. Coldplay are the new Bon Jovi and Bell x1 are Mr Mister.

Any band who offer themselves up to be compared to David Gray are surely looking for trouble, and to be fair, it's a good point. While Mr Greyer-Than-Gray rolls in the bucks, Bell x1 are clearly looking for some of that commercial magic. They also like to think their sound has echoes of Radiohead, which might be true - if the echoes are from an alternative universe where Radiohead had decided to stick with the nice little niche they had with High and Dry or Fake Plastic Trees. Yep, it's acoustic guitar driven with 'emotive' vocals. Nothing wrong with that of course, but when it's lacking in any real aggression, substance or sense of establishing its own place in the music world, it just gets a bit testing. Not even the odd utterance of 'fuck' can lift this out of the mire.

Picking out high and low points is a tricky proposition, as most of the 11 numbers here struggle to make themselves counted. Tongue has it's moments, and White Water Song almost goes in a similar direction as Touch Sensitive by the Fall but by and large it's by-the-numbers modern rock.

Fans of Coldplay or Ryan Adams will probably lap this up, others will roll their eyes and move on with their lives. It's somewhat ironic that a band who take their name from Chuck Yeager's plane are incapable of reaching strolling pace. Dull.